Why is it that every organization wants to have a unique client portal?

By | January 11, 2018

Isn’t it a legitimate question? If we look at it from the client perspective?

Personally, I don’t want to deal with a unique portal every time. I would rather have a single portal with all-familiar interface, with single sign on, and with all the details from various credit cards, banking accounts, loan accounts, tax account, cell phone accounts, internet accounts, and whatever other accounts being collected in one place.

Pretty sure I’m not alone in that.

And I understand that, traditionally, client portals are implemented as part of the organization web site for all the right reasons (branding, marketing, upsell, etc), but it just creates so much havoc. Different statement formats, different payment methods, different logins and passwords, different support channels..  When all I need is one portal where I can see all my information – pretty sure it should be possible to create such a thing (even if it were a paid subscription, I think many of us, “clients”, might agree to pay a small monthly fee for the convenience of having all that info in one place).

But how do you turn this ship around now when pretty much every organization has already invested into the development of their own portal?

6 thoughts on “Why is it that every organization wants to have a unique client portal?

  1. Alan M

    The same questions could be asked to you. Why do you have your own blog, with your own styling, and your own domain. In the same vain, why doesn’t everyone just use the out of box features in Dynamics 365? Surely it should be possible to make Dynamics 365 do everything one could ever need without any customizations?

    The notion that everyone wants to or should use the same software that works only one way is not how people think or how businesses want to operate or position themselves online. Maybe there will be social networking site that becomes the equivalent of what you’re suggesting for portals, but if you ask me, that’s boring, and then you wouldn’t have anything to blog about or a job where your skills are required!

    Reply
    1. Alex Shlega Post author

      Hi Alan, thanks for a very passionate response. You just need to make a distinction between the functions of the portal I mentioned in my post and between everything else organization web sites are supposed to do(in other words, to me customer portal is not the same as organization web site). I am not suggesting that every company should, somehow, start using a common web site – that would be nonsense. What I am saying is that I, personally, would prefer a single(or call it aggregated) portal for the things I currently have to do at 10 different portals, such as making monthly payments and submitting support requests.

      Reply
      1. Alan M

        I better understand your position now, but consider what it would take to acomplish what you’re looking for. One website to handle all interactions between you and a company is a much more complex endeavor for that company to acheive both technically and politically. In a small organization with a smaller number of decision makers and developers, sure, you could bundle all features into one place, but that doesn’t scale the larger the company gets. More divisions in a company means more complexity in getting agreement from everyone on how something should work and be implemented. Then consider the complexity of the application the more features it gets, you’ll have one massive monolithic application that is very hard to maintain and make changes to because it does so much and minor changes can have unexpected side effects of other features. Implementation wise, imagine 10 different groups all wanting new features deployed in two weeks from now, how do you smoothly coordinate all the changes to be done by 30 different developers to be designed, implemented, and combined and merged together into one site that you can deploy in a decent timeline and be bug free? Multiple sites enables the agility and independence needed for that company to offer those services to you.

        The better solution is not to try and combine all of a company’s offerings to you into one site, but make it easy for their customers to login to and access the multiple sites. This is what federated authentication is for.

        Reply
        1. Alex Shlega Post author

          Well, it’s not necessarily an easy thing to do:) But I ‘m not looking at it from the company perspective.. 90% of my interactions with all those companies is all about looking at the transactions, making payments, reviewing statements, and, occasionally, talking to their support. If I could do all of that through a single “portal”, that would be great. For the remaining 10%, I can probably just call them. Technically, it would not be extremely difficult to do.. imagine a portal as a service.. that can read data from the external web services and aggregate it, and that can submit some data back to those web services.. There is no problem of those 30 different developers or coordination. The portal will be for us, end clients. Every “company” will just have to make sure they have provided those web services for the integration.

          Reply
          1. Alex Shlega Post author

            I want a portal which I can use no matter which bank I’m with, I don’t want to switch a bank:) Besides, the link you sent kind of proves it’s doable, at least to an extent, isn’t it?

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